Claire Silver, The NFT Artist

Claire Silver has been experimenting with collaborative artificial intelligence (AI) based art and has gone down the NFT rabbit hole. She was an early adopter of the Crypto Punks project and she has since successfully offered her own NFT Art up for sale.

I’ve been trying to understand just on a basic level what NFTs mean for artists. In this conversation Claire helps provide clarity from the perspective of an early adopter. We discussed everything from how she got started, what resources she’s paying attention to, and how she’s actually creating her art.

Episode Summary

Artist Claire Silver explains what NFTs are, how she became an artist, and how as an early adopter of Crypto Punks, her interests and artwork evolved. She began with collaborative artificial intelligence experimentation and became a successful NFT artist. In this episode, Claire shares some of her favorite artists and resources.

Who is Claire Silver?

  • Claire’s background: She got started in the industry in 2017 after learning about crypto from a friend on 4Chan. The friend told her about NFTs and how they intended to keep them until they ended up in the Museum of Modern Arts (MOMA). She decided she would do the same.
  • How She got into art: She began making her own NFT art in February 2021. She quickly gained 1500 followers in four days. She was previously a traditional artist before getting involved in the NFT movement but found it difficult to gain recognition without a degree and connections.
  • Claire has a background in art history and marketing which is a good fit for the NFT space. Several years ago, she got a serious illness which was a life-changing experience. She decided to teach herself to paint and eventually transitioned to digital art because of its ease of use. She experimented with AI collaborative art and became excited about generative media and GPT-3 which is a blank AI you can feed media to. The AI produces various art pieces as per your specifications
  • She’s made NFTs her career: Claire first became interested in NFTs when she found the NFT Twitter. Things went from there. Claire makes a living making NFTs, something many artists struggle to do. She adds digital versions of her abstract paintings as well as selfies. The genre is experimental and there is a demand for it. She’s sold about 20 pieces, some to people in the NFT space and the CryptoPunks community, others to anonymous buyers.
  • Claire is co-founding an NFT gallery and virtual space for new artists, the goal is to help them build their careers. It should be out in the next few months. It’s a virtual world that will feature a few artists a month to help them connect with collectors and gain visibility. Cryptovoxels.com

What are NFTs?

  • NFTs are Non-Fungible Tokens. They are digital art pieces that can be traded for any currency for the same value. NFTs are original pieces of art that can’t be traded for another copy of the same image.
  • Claire says, “I think the historic proposition, the cultural proposition, and the value proposition are higher in the future than they are now.”
  • “I really feel like NFTs are kind of the culmination of the millennial gen-z file-share culture. Sharing and enjoying them doesn’t depreciate the value of the original.” (even though only one person can hold it). That’s a radical culture shift.
  • She believes NFTs are sustainable. Blockchain technology is recorded, backed up, and mutable. It’s becoming integrated with governments, banks, and corporations.

From early adopter to Cryptopunks creator

  • Cryptopunks: Claire was an early adopter in the NFT space. Today, she creates Cryptopunks. She says the NFT space was laughed about in the art world in the past.
  • Art movement: The tipping point was when it emerged as a new global art movement. Any art movement will be ridiculed in the beginning, think of the realist and impressionist movements. Now it’s NFTs. The first artists bring high value and, in this case, the Cryptopunks were the first. The movement is
  • Meritocracy: The NFT space is a populist movement based on meritocracy. “A lot of artists are finding that the NFT space is kind of an equal playing field.”
  • Emerging market: The traditional art market has barriers in terms of entry for artists and the collector. With digital art, it’s much easier to get into. As people notice the NFT market, this will raise the bar for artists. This will help it become more sustainable and long-term.
  • Claire has been looking for the Bluechip in the NFT market and she believes that’s Beeple and Cryptopunks. Emerging artists like Murat Pak, Sean Williams, and Fewocious are doing great things. New artists are accelerating and there are opportunities as a collector to find great things.